Fort Ord, a former military base just north of Monterey, California, has just been declared a national monument by the Obama administration. It is the second national monument created by President Obama under the 1906 Antiquities Act.
Michael Houlemard, executive officer of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, said:
“We’re truly overjoyed. Yesterday we were Fort Ord Public Lands. Today we’re Fort Ord National Monument.”
Obama called Fort Ord, which contains more than 14,000 acres of coastal lands, “a world-class destination for hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the area’s history and scenic landscapes.”
Obama said in a statement:
“This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California’s coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century.”
The SF Gate reports that Fort Ord was established in 1917 and was closed in 1994. Nearly 1.7 million soldiers were trained at the base.
Paul Bruno, spokesman for the Monterey County Republican Party, said that the new national monument could bring in a lot of tourism to the state, which would add jobs and revenue. Bruno said:
“We haven’t studied the issue and the potential benefits or ramifications… I’m hoping that the designation will bring jobs because, ultimately, that is what our community needs.”
Have you ever been to Fort Ord?